On November 17th, Ulobby hosted a panel discussion on how Public Affairs can be successful as an integral part of the organisation. A lot of interesting points were presented during the webinar - but especially three topics seemed to be the most important for the participants. If you missed the webinar or just want a recap, we have therefore outlined these three take away points below.
PA professionals must understand the internal structure of their organisation
How to position the Public Affairs department in the organisation is an ongoing challenge for PA professionals. Our panel touched upon this topic and agreed that there is no “one size fits all” solution, as it differs so much from organisation and industry. Therefore, the panel argued that understanding the organisational structure and playing field is more important for PA professionals than ever before. Successful PA professionals understand that the internal factors and dynamics of an organisation are just as important to master as the external relationships in order to reach optimal performance and influence.
Don’t be scared of measuring and report your PA results
Another headache for many PA professionals is to document the value their public affairs activities create for the organisation. Especially when it comes to reporting to the C-suite which often requires hard facts and numbers - even more so when there has been a change in management and a full review of all departments is required by the new CEO. A challenge that many at the webinar recognised. Ulobby CEO and panel member Anders Kopp Jensen therefore emphasized how essential it has become for PA departments to start measuring their results - to prove value over time. Especially, as it was mentioned by a member of the panel, when it is peace time. Meaning, that it is very easy to see the value of PA when a crisis hits the organisation - but much more difficult when everything is back to normal. Therefore, it will only be to the advantage of the competent PA professionals to measure and present their results - and this has become significantly easier in the past few years due to technological advances.
Public Affairs should be done on a strategic level
Public Affairs is often viewed as a very tactical discipline - but in today’s fast paced world it needs to be lifted up on a strategic level, according to the panel members who agreed that the Public Affairs department can contribute positively to the strategic decisions made on C-level due to the overview of the surrounding environment and which factors might influence the company in the future. But it is very much up to the PA professionals to prove this value - both by showing their measured effects, but also by understanding the organisation and alligen the PA initiatives with the business strategy.
The panel consisted of Olga Simane (Telia Company), Moises Costa (MAN Truck & Bus), Julie Kjestrup (Danfoss), and of course Anders Kopp Jensen (Ulobby).